When relaxed and charming Ben Wrightman meets workaholic Lindsey Meeks she finds him sweet and charming, they hit it off and when it is winter Ben can spend every waking hour with Lindsey, but when summer comes around the corner Lindsey discovers Ben's obsession with the Boston Red Sox. She thinks it is perfect until everything goes downhill for them. Written by
Footage from a game in Toronto, Canada between the Yankees and the Blue Jays on 1 October 2004 was shot for the movie. Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon were present at the game and she threw out the first pitch. See more »
While they eat their first meal together, when Ben is taking a message on Lindsey's cell phone ("this is Ben her house boy/sex slave... call your mother") Lindsey's hands change places from under her chin to her lap between camera angle changes. See more »
Eighty-six years of bangin' our heads against the big green wall, but we finally did it. That part you know. That part everybody knows. But I got a story you don't know. It's about this schoolteacher friend of mine named Ben.
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All the titles are done in the same lettering style as on Red Sox uniforms. See more »
"Fever Pitch" is a sweet and charming addition to the small genre of sports romances as date movies or movies a son could be willing to go to with his mother (though the guys in the audience got noticeably restless during the romantic scenes).
I have lived through a milder version of such a story, as my first exposure to baseball was dating my husband the spring after the Mets first World Series win and then I watched the Mets clinch their next one because I was the one still up in the wee hours with our two little sons, who have grown up to teach me more about baseball through our local neighborhood National League team's other heartbreaking failures to win it again (and it was me who took our older son to his only Fenway Park game as I caught a bit of Red Sox fever as a graduate student in Boston).
So compared to reality, the script believably creates two people with actual jobs. It is particularly impressive that Drew Barrymore's character is a substantive workaholic who has anti-Barbie skills, though she pretty much only visits with her three bland girlfriends during gym workouts that allow for much jiggling and the minor side stories with her parents don't completely work.
It is even set up credibly how she meets Jimmy Fallon's math teacher and how she falls for his "winter guy" -- though it's surprising that his Red Sox paraphernalia filled apartment didn't tip her off to his Jekyll-and-Hyde "summer guy." Their relationship crisis during the baseball season is also played out in a refreshingly grown-up way, from efforts at compromise to her frank challenges to him, centered around that they are both facing thirty and single. Fallon surprisingly rises to his character's gradual emotional maturity.
While the ending borrows heavily from O. Henry, the script writers did a yeoman job of quickly incorporating the Sox's incredible 2004 season into a revised story line (with lots of cooperation from the Red Sox organization for filming at the stadium).
The script goes out of its way to explain why Fallon doesn't have a Boston accent, as an immigrant from New Jersey, but that doesn't explain why his motley friends don't. The most authentic sounding Boston sounds come from most of his "summer family" of other season ticket holders, who kindly kibitz the basics of Sox lore to neophyte Barrymore (and any such audience members).
The song selection includes many Red Sox fans' favorites, from the opening notes of the classic "Dirty Water," though most are held to be heard over the closing credits as if you are listening to local radio and are worth sitting through to hear.
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